That Blows! Frustration , Feelings and Fun!

Blow Painting!

This is a great project for preschoolers on up but would probably prove to be incredibly frustrating for toddlers.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paper, drinking straws, paint, a small container and a little bit of water.
  2. Thin out your paint with a little water in a small container. It should be thin enough to splatter but still thick enough to hold the pigment.
  3. Using your straw drip some paint on your paper.
  4. Keeping the end of your straw close to the drip of paint , blow through it and watch the paint spread! If it’s not spreading try thinning it out a bit more, or blow harder!
  5. Add another color and keep going! Spin the paper around to get the splatters in all directions.

Song!



Cooperation Song

The more we work together,
together,
together,
the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be,
cause I like to help you,
and you like to help me,

the more we work together,
the happier we’ll be.

Books!

I decided to focus my song and books about feelings because young children need a lot of reassurance about feelings in my experience. Toddlers and Preschoolers have always reminded me of teenagers, seeking independence from the baby stage but not sure about where the boundaries should be. All of these books have been useful to me while teaching and talking to young children about feelings.


“The way I feel” by Janan Cain is a useful book. It labels feelings with a short rhyming piece of text and fanciful illustrations. While I wouldn’t suggest this as a book for a nightly read it is useful while specifically learning and talking about emotions. I like to have children show me their faces in the same feelings as the book progresses. If you are reading this with a small group or your child stop and talk about times when you felt these emotions.

” The Grumpy Morning” by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a great book. I think I got it as a freebie with a scholastic order years ago, either way I am so glad I have it. The book follows all the animals on a farm as they wake up grumpy and hungry and needing attention from the farmer. As a teacher i love this book because I could talk about whining, and demanding and ask my students if there are better ways to get what you want. As a parent I love it because the text is musical and my son loves seeing all the animals and what sounds they make since he is still a little young to appreciate the lesson about feelings at 16 months.

” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” by Judith Viorst is a modern classic. I have loved this book since grade 2 when Madame Griffin had us write our own versions of the story. I stole her idea many times over the years usually doing it as a circle time activity with each child adding one thing that makes them mad. This magic of this book is that the end isn’t happy , Alexander goes to bed still mad and that’s okay, sometimes days are bad.


Shape Sun Catcher Craft



Believe it or not in almost 15 years of doing crafts with kids I had never done this! Thanks to Denise in Florida for the inspiration for this activity!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, various colors of tissue paper and scissors.
  2. Cut your tissue paper into all different sizes but keep the shape consistent.
  3. Make your sun catcher by folding a large piece of contact paper so that the front and back piece would be connected by a seam, so for a square I cut out a large rectangle then folded it in two. You can make a triangle by cutting out a square and folding it in two.
  4. Peak back the backing only as far as the seam. You can see in this picture the backing is still on 1/2 of the contact paper.
  5. Stick your shapes on, encourage your child to over lap them, and notice that they make a new color when that happens.
  6. Peel the remaining backing off and seal it onto the other side.
  7. Go catch the spring sun!
Song!



The Shape Song!

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is?
What shape this is?

Do you know what shape this is I’m holding in my hand?

Books!

The Greedy Triangle” by Marilyn Burns is a funny story about a triangle who keeps adding more and more sides until he is confused, but your preschooler will be learning all about shapes while fun. The author is a bit of a superstar in the teaching world, I am a huge fan of not only this book but her methods in general. If you are a teacher , especially elementary aged and aren’t familiar with her you should be.

” My Very First Book of Shapes” by Eric Carle is a great introduction into shapes, but won’t loose it’s appeal as your child ages. The book is split so the fun begins when you try to match the shapes! Carle’s distinctive collage illustrations are a delight !


” Flip a shape: Go! “ by Harriet Ziefert will keep busy toddlers interested in all the shapes that are made with a school bus , boat and more! The simplistic and bright illustrations coupled with the movements of the flip a shape, this book will be a hit with your toddler!

Windsocks are not for your feet!

Catch The Wind!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of paper , some crayons or markers, some streamers or tissue paper, some tape or glue, a hole punch and some ribbon.
  2. Have your child color and decorate the paper. Let them have some free creative time, and don’t be shocked if it doesn’t last long. Young kids don’t usually spend a lot of time on drawing, so if you want to keep the activity going, switch up colors by giving them one at a time, remember to name the colors as you do this!
  3. When they are finished , tape or glue some long strips of tissue paper or streamers to the bottom of the paper, on the non decorated side.
  4. Tape, glue or staple the paper into a cylinder.
  5. Punch two holes and thread a ribbon through, knot it.
  6. Hang it up where you can watch it dance in the wind.

Books!

Finding books that had to do with wind was not an easy task, at least not ones that held my interest. However my trusty local library and I succeeded in finding two titles that are worth a read!

” The Very Windy Day” by Elizabeth MacDonald is a funny story about how everyone walking on North, South , East and West streets had their belongings mixed up by the wind! Hats , blankets and even food got passed along from one person to the next in this silly story about a windy day.

” How the Ladies stopped the Wind” by Bruce McMillan is a charming story that is reminiscent of a folk tale, about ladies in Iceland who decide to plant trees to stop the wind. There is some fantastic bits of humor for parents and amazing illustrations! This was a great library find!

You’ve got mail !

DIY Postcards

Who doesn’t love to get mail? Making their own postcards then sending them to themselves is a fun way to introduce the concept of the mail to your child. For teachers this is a great activity for a community helpers unit.

  1. Gather your materials. I used a black card cut in two but you can just use any heavy paper cut into the size of a post card. You will need some art materials to decorate your postcard too. I am using blue painters tape to tape over the area to put both the address and return address on.
  2. Go nuts decorating the front of the post card.
  3. Flip and decorate the back too!
  4. Remove the tape, and address the postcard .
  5. Stick on a stamp and pop it in the mail.

If you are doing this with more than one child or doing more than one post card you can record how long it takes your post card to return to you, or to get to whoever you send it to.

Song!


In the mailbox, In the mailbox
look and see, look and see,
a package or a postcard,
a letter from my grandma
just for me, just for me!

In the mailbox, in the mailbox,
look and see, look and see,
a magazine that’s dandy
a valentine with candy,
just for me , just for me !

Book!



A fantastic book about letter writing is ” Dear Mrs. LaRue letters from Obedience school ” by Mark Teague. The story is a humorous look at Ike’s time at obedience school and how his perception of the hardships he is facing is a little different from reality.

Bubble Bubble Toil And Trouble!


Bubble
Painting



This is an activity for preschoolers , toddlers will love to watch the bubbles but unless you are aching for bubble solution all over your house, I would skip this with the under 2.5 age group!

  1. Gather your materials. Card stock or Construction Paper will hold up well to the bubbles, some liquid paint, bubble solution and a straw.
  2. Pour some solution into the cup along with some paint. Using the straw mix and blow to make bubbles.
  3. Using your paper cover the cup .
  4. Repeat until your master piece is done!
Additional Activities

For toddlers who are too little to for the bubble painting, there is always bubble catching outside! My little guy loved this , as expected!

Song!


Smile Song

A smile goes a long long way hey hey !
A smile goes a long long way hey hey !
It starts with an s right here ,
and it’s a mile to the other ear,
A smile goes a long long way!

Books!


” Corduroy” by Don Freeman is a children’s classic and one of my favorites from childhood, if you haven’t read it it’s about a little teddy bear and his desire for a real home and a little girl who needs him too!

” Where is baby’s belly button” by Karen Katz is a great little lift the flap book, and it’s like crack for toddlers! I swear I have never met one who doesn’t love this book! And an added bonus it helps them learn their body parts too!


” It’s Mine!” by Leo Lionni is a great fable about sharing and not sharing! A lesson kids of all age especially the young ones can use , often!